Late last night, the final draft of the $789 billion economic stimulus bill went up on the web for public review; it’s supposed to go to President Obama on Monday. The thing is more than 1,000 pages long, and it should be no surprise that’s there seems to be something in it for everyone. No matter whether you’re young, old, working, jobless, poor, comfortable, renting, buying, you’ll see some benefit too. Here are some of the highlights we’ve seen so far.
If you’re employed:
If you make less than $75,000 a year you get a $400 tax credit for 2009 and 2010. That goes double for couples. It gets phased out with higher income levels.
If you’re unemployed:
Unemployment benefits are being extended and raised $25 per week. The first $2,400 will be exempt from federal taxes.
The government will subsidize Cobra health coverage for jobless people—up to 65 percent of premiums for nine months if you were laid off after September 2008.
If you’re GM:
One last-minute addition was a $3.2 billion tax break that would help the ailing auto giant.
If you oppose greenhouse gases:
Greenpeace says the bill will reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 1 percent.
If you support greenhouse gases:
Buy a new car, light truck, RV or motorcycle in 2009 and you may be able to deduct taxes on the purchase.
If you have a house:
There’s $5 billion in there to weatherize more than 1 million homes owned by “modest-income” families.
If you don’t have a house:
First-time home buyers get a tax credit of up to 10% of the home’s price, or $7,500 (could be $8,000).
If you’re poor:
The earned income tax credit will temporarily go up for low-income families with three or more kids.
The child-tax credit will be extended to families who earn as little as $3,000.
Food stamps benefits will increase 13 percent.
If you’re rich:
The bill exempts 24 million taxpayers from the Alternative Minimum Tax. Okay, this is kind of a cheat on our part–the provision is actually meant to keep the AMT, created to keep the very wealthy from escaping paying taxes, from hitting the middle and upper-middle class.
If you’re a student:
Pell Grants will go up—or at least the maximums will, to $5,350 in 2009 and $5,550 in 2010.
You could get a $2,500 tuition tax credit.
If you’re retired:
One-time $250 payments will go to Social Security recipients, veterans receiving disability and pensions, and others.
If you love Las Vegas:
There’s $8 billion for high-speed rail lines. Sen. Reid of Nevada says a proposed Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas rail could get a big chunk of the money.